KEARNEY — It was a record-setting season for the Lakeview High School speech team.
The Vikings tied for second place in the Class B State Speech Championships held Thursday at the University of Nebraska at Kearney — the best finish in school history.
Lakeview was led by Jennifer Jimenez, who was named champion in both entertainment and informative speaking, and Emily Casanova, who took first in oral interpretation of poetry. Cole Tessendorf placed third in informative speaking for Lakeview, which had won just four state speech events before Thursday, according to Nebraska School Activities Association online records.
Adviser Quinten Lyon praised the three seniors for their performances at state and the leadership they provided throughout the season.
“Jennifer is a real good kid and she is an extremely good teammate. She and Cole have been our biggest point winners all year,” Lyon said.
Casanova, whose victory was announced first, earned her first state medal.
“She has been to state every single year and she hasn’t placed. She always seemed to have some bad luck. Seeing her get first was very special,” Lyon said.
Jimenez hoped to at least match her performance from last year's state meet, when she reached the finals in entertainment speaking.
“My goal was to break in at least one event again. I never really expected to win both of them. I was really surprised and honored,” she said.
The team goal was to place in the top three.
“We really wanted a banner to hang up in our gym,” Jimenez said.
Lyon, who is in his seventh year as Lakeview's speech coach, credits the team’s success to a strong work ethic he said is required to excel in the activity.
Lakeview and Omaha Skutt Catholic tied for second with 76 points, well behind the 170 points posted by Class B champion York.
The Vikings also won the District B-4 competition held at Lakeview earlier this month, qualifying six students for state.
Other state results for Lakeview are: eighth place for Casanova in humorous interpretation; ninth for Tessendorf and 12th by Savanna Denton in persuasive speaking; 13th for Madison Schwarz in serious interpretation; and 18th by Hayden Nelson in humorous interpretation.
Scotus Central Catholic sent four students to the Class B state meet.
Bryan Littlefield earned the highest place for the Shamrocks, finishing 12th in extemporaneous speaking. Other Scotus results are: Logan Zanardi, 14th in humor; Lauren Ostdiek, 15th in entertainment; and Morgan Littlefield, 16th in serious.
David City claimed the Class C-1 title on Thursday, its third championship in the past four years and seventh since coach Jarod Ockander took over the program in 2006. The Scouts have finished second twice during that time.
David City won five events and collected 12 medals, with Jackson Hardin and Bethany Tebbe picking up a pair of golds each.
Hardin was first in poetry interpretation and teamed with William Heller to win duet acting.
Laurel Ockander took first in persuasive speaking and fourth in extemporaneous speaking, and Tebbe was named champion in informative speaking.
The Scouts' final gold came in oral interpretation of drama, where Brooke Bell, Evan Forney, Iris Prochaska, Sarah Wolfenden and Tebbe teamed up for first.
Rebecca Meusch added a second-place finish in poetry interpretation and fifth-place performance in serious interpretation for David City, and Macy Svoboda was second in persuasive speaking and third in informative speaking.
Prochaska took fourth in humorous interpretation, and Forney and Ashley Roemmich were sixth in duet acting. Heller finished 14th in humorous interpretation.
Malcolm finished second in the Class C-1 team standings with 106 points, 96 behind David City. Omaha Brownell-Talbot was third with 94 points.
Boone Central's best finish came from Scott Wright, who took sixth in extemporaneous speaking.
Mariah Olson was 12th for the Cardinals in poetry, Olivia Groeteke finished 15th in poetry, Walker Stuhr was 16th in entertainment and Patricia Cleveland came in 18th in serious interpretation.
Twin River's Ryan Range and Mary Czarnick were 13th in extemporaneous speaking and serious interpretation, respectively, and Preston Connelly and Justin Mohrmann combined for 17th place in duet acting.
David City Aquinas got a 14th-place finish from Nathan Uhrmacher in entertainment speaking and the team of Isaac Archuleta, Cody Hein, Kael Jakub, Dawson Schawang and Uhrmacher took 13th in oral interpretation of drama.
State speech continues Friday in Kearney with classes C-2, D-1 and D-2.